Top 10 summer food festivals in Tuscany

Sagre in Florence and beyond

Helen Farrell, Cassie Prena
July 3, 2014

Relish time-honed culinary traditions, get your wine flowing and bump shoulders with locals at one of Tuscany’s many summer sagre. These traditional food festivals are dotting the Tuscan landscape and offer a cheap opportunity to indulge in scrumptious, homemade Italian cuisine under a star-lit summer sky. Hop into your car and head out of the city with The Florentine’s top-ten summer sagre.

 

1. Festa del Mugello, ObiHall, Lungarno Aldo Moro, Florence. Until August 17

If those of you with transport issues, you can enjoy a taste of the Mugello without ever leaving Florence, at this daily summer BBQ at the ObiHall. Every evening from 7pm, the outdoor area comes alive with games and magicians for children, tango, live music, sports matches on a giant screen and a full range of traditional food from the Mugello. See www.festadelmugello.com.

 

2. Sagra della Ficamaschia, Porto Ercole. August 12 to 21

Try the oddly named oily fish, caught locally and stewed with potatoes, or breaded and fried.

 

3. Sagra dell’Ocio, Ruscello, near Arezzo. July 17–20, 23–27

Get your goose cooked in an array of scrumptious sauces at this food festival combined with historical reenactment of wheat threshing. See (in Italian) www.maccheronieocio.it.

 

4. Sagra del Fungo Porcino con Polenta, Capannori. Saturdays and Sundays until August 4

Relish locally picked Garfagnana mushrooms in a rich variety of recipes, in a pasta sauce and served on crostini, plus other local specialties, washed down with a glass (or two) of Montecarlo wine.

 

Photo via Eventi in Toscana

[Photo via Eventi in Toscana]

 

5. Sagra del Cinghiale, Foro Boario, Borgo San Lorenzo. August 23–31

Wild boar galore at this sagra destined to make all meat eaters wild with joy. Try the local Mugello tortelli and the pappardelle.

 

6. Sagra del Panigaccio, Podenzana, Massa Carrara. August 2–17

Gobble up some amazing flatbread typical of the Lunigiana area, cooked on smoking-hot terracotta pots and drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil, pesto, cheese, cured meats, olives and mushrooms.

 

7. Baviera Festa, Castelnuovo di Garfaganana. July 4–20

Germany comes to Tuscany with beer, pork shank, strudel and much, much more! See (in Italian) www.bavierafest.com.

 

Photo via Baviera Fest

[Photo via Baviera Fest

 

8. Sagra della Zuppa, Aquilea, Saturdays and Sundays until July 27

Slurp up a bowl of traditional soup native to the Lucchesi hills. If this vegetable-based broth fails to satiate your hunger, fill up on hand-rolled macaroni, potato gnocchi or a local cake specialty.

 

9. Festa del Vino, Forrottoli, July 24–27 and August 1–3

Sip fine local wine while enjoying hearty Tuscan classics such as wild boar, local fish stew or Florentine tripe. Not feeling so adventurous? Opt for one of the many pizzas served the first weekend in August.

 

10.  Sagra degli Strozzapreti, Roccastrada, July 17–20

Get your fork swirling as you indulge in local strozzapreti, pasta with a base of only flour and water. Tradition calls for townswomen to start preparing various lip-smacking sauces nine days before the event. Taste the variety of strozzapreti and cast your vote for the best sugo.

 

Photo via Itinerari in Toscana

[Photo via Itinerari in Toscana]

 

App-lied sagre

 

Even the age-old sagre tradition hasn’t resisted a modern facelift. Download one of the free smart-phone sagre apps to never miss out on the latest eating action.  Swipe through Sagra Stasera, iSagra and Sagre for practical fest information and savvy GPS location services. Already tired of sagre? Italia in Festa spotlights music, cultural and gastronomic events throughout Tuscany.

 

- Sagre Stasera, by Sagra. Free

https://www.facebook.com/staserasagra

 

-Sagre, by Lorenzo Leprotti. Free

 

-Italia in Festa, by Alberto Tricario. Free

https://itunes.apple.com/it/app/italia-in-festa/id533636968?mt=8

 

-iSagra, by Giorgio Facchinetti. Free

 https://itunes.apple.com/it/app/isagra/id673565698?mt=8

 

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